- Corpse Party (people on GAF seem to rightfully love it, but outside I don't hear much about it)
- Initial D Street Stage (my favourite car racer on PSP. You'd have to import, though)
- Powder (homebrew)
- Velocity (has a Vita "HD" version)
1. What is it?
A game where you customize combat robots, program their AI end-to-end (complete with PSP input hooks if you want some real-time control) using a grid-based logic diagramming system, and then send them to battle.
2. Why do you feel it is underrated?
It's a PSP game that was released in North America digital-only in 2013 at $30 and it probably wasn't very widely-advertised. Among the forums I read, barely anybody has tried this game.
3. Why should we play it?
It's incredibly complicated and even the tutorial is satisfying. Full disclosure? The tutorial took me hours and provided its own challenges near the end, and I haven't even beaten the first real mission yet. You have a ton of control over the behavior of these robots, and the interface makes things a hell of a lot of fun to tweak. If you've played Spacechem you can understand the appeal, though I'd say that thematically and aesthetically this blows it out of the water.
This game is absolutely amazing until its first completion where the story gets completely looney, but it is pretty much a single player Phantasy Star Online 2. Not too much enemy variety, but the combat was exciting.
2nd Up! Key of Heaven/Kingdom of Paradise
The story is horrible, and so are the characters, but this story-driven combat RPGish game had one of most glorious combat systems ever. You had pretty much hundreds of attacks and you could arrange them in custom combos. You could essentially puzzle together a stun attack, followed by a launcher, some quick attack to hit someone else or area of effect or... Well pretty much, the custom combo system had only really been revisited in PSO2 (the real PSO2) with allowing you to put Photon Arts in any order, but it was much more fun in this game.
The story does suck and its sequel is absolutely attrocious however.
3rd Up! Brave Story
No actually, I'm just kidding. This award goes to Dragoneer's Aria!!!
This RPG is pretty much one of the best RPGs ever during the first maybe third of the game. But that's something right? Later on you soon realise that the whole game is sort of about perfect timing with the guard mechanic because the difficult spikes in this game are just brutal, and you are given the ability to block 100% of damage if you are a QTE jedi. Still, unlike Brave Story, which was just a decent spin-off of a really sweet Anime movie, this game had character like no other and is an absolute blast -- just don't try the multiplayer.
Now there are some amazing PSP games we all know. PSPo2, MonHan, Ridge Racer, Mercury etc. (... the Final Fantasy ports) -- but these games are lost gems that unfortunately would never be given a second chance in the industry. Man I would love a properly done Key of Heaven...
Half Minute Hero - best game on the psp for me. kind of an arcade action rpg.
Growlanser : wayfarer of time - brilliant branching rpg with a fairly unique battle system
Hexyz Force - rpg where you can fast forward battles
Mega Man Maverick Hunter - remake of megaman x with a cool new mode where you play as vile, which is lots of fun
Kenka Bancho Badass Rumble - run around a town on a school trip to try and beat up the strongest people from other schools or have fun on the trip with your friends. Not really sure how to genre it. simulation/action?
Star Ocean 2 & BOF3 are good if you didn't play them on the psx. BOF3 is only available in europe though
Was gonna recommend BoF3, but your list is pretty solid and I have most of those games on my US PSN account =)
Bizarre that BoF3 is only on EU and JPN PSN tbh, but I may just grab BoF3 if ever it goes on sale on EU PSN @_@
Definitely Megaman Maverick Hunters X. I'm playing it again the last two mornings on the train. On the final boss stage (Chameleon). Looks great on vita and plays just as well as the original with a few little twists. On PSN as well.
If you like puzzle games buy ABSOLUTELY Archibald's Adventures, a minis, it's really awesome, another puzzle game i really loved is Crystal Mines.
If you like twin stick shooters buy Dracula Undead Awakening, another minis.
Dead Head Fred - Fun 3rd person action... adventure game where you can rip the heads off your enemies and swap them with your own. Some give you new abilities or just act as disguises. It's a bit clunky and the camera can be annoying at times, but still enjoyable. The writing is also excellent. At one point there was going to be a HD port of this for the 360/PS3, but that was cancelled years ago. So yeah, Dead Head Fred remains a PSP exclusive.
Bomberman - Not to be confused with the PSP's Bomberman Land, this was just called Bomberman, and it's a fantastic nod to the Super Bomberman series. Single player mode where you progress through different worlds complete with boss fights and a great deathmatch mode.
Taito Legends Power-Up - The PSP version of Taito Legends was different to the PS2/Xbox/PC collections, as it contained four entirely new versions of Balloon Bomber, Crazy Balloon, Cameltry and The Legend of Kage that were exclusive to the PSP. The updated Cameltry is especially rad. Reviews at the time rarely ever mentioned this. =\ There's also about 20 ports of Taito arcade games in there.
Hammerin' Hero (US) / GenSan (EU) - The last ever Hammerin' Harry game before he became nothing more than a pachinko machine theme. Platformer/beat 'em up with absurd humour and situations. Just crazy fun. Frame rate can be bloody awful though. Then again, it is an Irem game, so that's like their trademark or something.
This game might be hard to come by these days, dunno. I've never once seen the Euro version around.
Patchwork Heroes - Cut up invading wooden ships. Hard to explain, but it's a blast
Pursuit Force - Ridiculous car chase action game. Sequel is great too.
Syphon Filter - A couple of good ones
Motorstorm Arctic Edge - If you like the series
Twisted Metal Head On - If you like the series
Ultimate Ghosts & Goblins
The Red Star - beat em up
Another underrated game that was not mentioned yet is Jikandia: The Timeless Land
"In Jikandia, you must travel through dungeons in search of your friends. You can set the time limit for each dungeon yourself! Dungeons are altered in several ways according to the time limit you set, so no adventure is the same twice! The longer you spend in one, the more likely you'll come across rare items and treasure chests...but you'll also face more monsters and difficult traps. Also, by meeting certain requirements, you can unlock specific events and cause legendary items to appear."
Then Umihara Kawase PSP is super fun if you love weird platformer, even with all its bugs:
Already mentioned, ZHP: Unlosing Ranger VS Darknight is an awesome, underrated roguelike game:
Patchwork Heroes - you play a motley crew tasked with taking down a fleet of invading warships with nothing but your cutting saw. The gameplay is really fun, there's quite a bit of content and visually it's got a very unique look to it. Wish this was available in HD!
I know it isn't a popular opinion but Popolocrois was one of my favorite JRPGs for the platform with a charming story, cute graphics, an interesting battle system and of course shitty loading as the main negative
I was very into the psp, since i used to waste 3 hours of commuting for about two years with it.
What i played and felt underrated are:
The best brawler game for the PSP, a smart story, good characters, funny situations, decent enemy ai, good use of scenario and weapons available. They squeezed the memory of the PSP to put so much orgasm inside
a really good multiplayer game, even if played solo. a lot of maps, characters and game modes to play with
as mentioned a few posts before me, also i loved the east european like soundtrack
Kenka Bancho BadAss Rumble
a really good game, one of the few that kept its japanese cultural references and a good brawler
Half Minute Hero
a non stop arcade game filled with silly/funny stories and rpg references
everybody loves Patapon, but his little brother is poor talked about. I can assure you that behind the simple controls there's a deep and involving games. Also both my wife and my daughter like it and that means always something good.
A puzzle game with a great learning curve, the easy levels are just right to get you in the game, then it goes to really really difficult challenges if you dare. Also you can customize your avatar with strange shapes, i enjoyed it but i don't know why.